Coronavirus: Norfolk’s police chief urges public to keep staying at home

Simon Bailey, Norfolk Constabulary's chief constable. Picture: Archant

Simon Bailey, Norfolk Constabulary's chief constable. Picture: Archant - Credit: Steve Adams

Norfolk’s chief constable has urged people to continue to stay at home in a bid to help save lives and ease pressure on the NHS in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The government has announced that the current lockdown would be extended for a further three weeks as the battle against Covid-19 continues.

Simon Bailey, Norfolk’s chief constable, issued a message to the people of this county after guidance published nationally on what constitutes essential travel during the public health lock down received widespread commentary in news and social media.

He said: “I want to be absolutely clear to the communities of Norfolk that our approach to policing these restrictions has not changed.

“The guidance was shared by our partners in the criminal justice system with the aim of helping officers in making judgements on what is considered ‘reasonable’ within the new legislation. While the advice can help inform officers in their approach to incidents it is still a decision for officers based on the factors in front of them, to be clear it does not change our policing stance.

Police enforcing the lockdown in Cromer. The police have released new guidelines about what is consi

Police enforcing the lockdown in Cromer. The police have released new guidelines about what is considered a 'reasonable' reason to be out of your own home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

“The measures in place limiting people’s movements are in place to help stop the spread of this deadly virus and should not be taken lightly, especially as we move into an extended period of lockdown.

“Social distancing can only work if everyone works together and follows the advice. Of course it’s tempting to travel further afield for a walk and some fresh air but it is not essential and the one thing we do not want to see is the public thinking it is save to travel to beaches and beauty spots and enjoying what they have on offer. It is not safe to do this; businesses and shops remain closed and the public need to stay at home.”

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Mr Bailey insisted the force’s approach to dealing with people who flout the restrictions was fair but firm and said enforcement will always be a last resort.

He added: “I want to reiterate that our police style has not changed and I would urge people in our communities, the overwhelming majority of which have been adhering to the guidelines, to continue with that effort.”

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Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green has also urged the public to listen to and adhere the advice.

• To keep up with what’s happening in your area, join our Norfolk Coronavirus Updates.

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